Dear Faculty and Staff:

Welcome back! I hope the summer months have been enjoyable and productive ones and you are ready for a new academic year. I also hope you will join me in keeping friends, family and colleagues from Houston and the Texas coast in your thoughts. We are actively exploring ways we can help from a distance and will be sharing information on ways you can volunteer or contribute in the next few days.

As of today’s enrollment figures, the University of Memphis continues to grow across all categories, undergraduate and graduate. Overall growth is 1.5%, with our new freshman class currently larger than last year’s (a record class of over 2,700 by Day 11), in addition to growth in continuing, transfer and graduate students. Enrollment figures are not final until the 11th class day. Academic qualifications of our incoming freshmen continue to improve with higher overall average GPA, an increase in mean ACT, and an improved yield from our two highest academic qualification categories.  

As was mentioned in last week’s initial faculty meeting, our goals are to attain a freshman class of approximately 3,000 per year and growth of 2% per year. We are averaging 2% growth over the past two years and well on our way to achieving our freshman class goal. Our growth this year is particularly impressive given record graduation numbers over the past three years, coupled with three small freshman classes until last year’s record freshman enrollment. With the resulting number of juniors and seniors on campus, in reality, our University should be contracting. There is convincing evidence our retention and completion initiatives are working, something only possible because of the hard work of so many on our campus. Freshman to sophomore retention exceeded 80% for the first time in our history. Thank you!

Again, welcome back, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students, University and community.

Warm Regards,     

M. David Rudd
President|Distinguished University Professor